Here’s a recording of Pamela telling a group about how these spiritual chants came to be. The transcript is below, and the chants are further down the page, with more to come. – HH
Every faith tradition has some kind of tradition of singing. Songs of praise, songs to connect with the divine, however you see that, with aspects of God.
I started writing these after having years and years and years of singing in churches; and meditating with an Indian guru in my 20s with the Siddha meditation path; with living in Montreal and going to the Catholic chanting that was going on. My choir director went and meditated and did chanting with the Catholic monks, and I went along with him once and realized, “Oh my goodness, this is really similar!” Then at another place I had some music students who were Wiccan priestesses, and they said, “Hey, we’re tired of our chants. Will you write some new chants for us?” And that’s where Ostara came from. And in order to get to that one, I started looking up chanting, and finding all of these mantras. Some of these are Sanskrit, some of these are Aramaic and have come down through the Jewish path. They come from different places.
The ones that are here are there on the sheet because for some reason I felt really drawn to them at some point. I’ve got a whole lot of other ones, and I’ll continue growing the list of mantras. All of these have helped me through some difficult time at some point, and helped me to move through things. Whether we are singing a favourite children’s hymn … I remember when I was going through a rough time at 29, and it was [children’s hymns such as] “Jesus bids us shine” and “Jesus loves me” that were coming out of my childhood to help me get through some rough points.
So, whatever songs that bring hope and connection, and help us to remember that there’s something else out there, too, that we can connect with, or something within, that we can connect with: everything works. And from where I come, no one religion is any better than any other religion. They’re all … every path is a way to connect.
So – my “inter-faith kirtan”. Kirtan is a word that comes from the Indian tradition, yogic tradition, of chanting for ecstatic union.
– Pamela Holm, date unknown (post 2014)